Infrastructure in the News: June 11, 2012
The Hill: The week ahead: Highway bill talks enter week five
The talks in Congress about a possible new multi-year transportation are entering their fifth week. The talks continue amid growing pessimism about the chance for success for the 47-member conference committee that has been trying to work out a compromise between the House and Senate on a bill for the better part of a month. The conference committee is trying to create a proposal that would provide transportation funding for at least the next 18 months.
Transportation Issues Daily: Senate and House Exchange Proposals on Transportation Bill
A Senate proposal resolving some of the Senate-House differences in the transportation bill was hand-delivered by Barbara Boxer to her counterpart, Representative John Mica. The proposal covers transportation issues and does not address the Keystone XL and coal ash provisions the House wants in a final bill. Few details are available. The House (that is, Republicans) responded with a counter-offer with a number of details regarding the transportation enhancements program. More counter-offers from the House on other aspects of the Senate proposal were expected Friday and perhaps over the weekend and into this week.
MTS Matters: So Spake the Freight Stakeholders
The Freight Stakeholders Coalition–a group of 18 or more organizations–spoke freight to power. But in today’s Washington, where the policy makers often wear policy blinders, will the Deciders (to use Dubya-speak) listen to the goods movement call for change? Back in 2005, when SAFETEA-LU came out of the House-Senate conference cooker, the Stakeholders were dumbfounded to realize that the negotiators cut from the bill a key freight provision on which there had seemed to be agreement. It was a 2 percent set-aside funding requirement for freight related projects.
Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: California's once-proud highways are crumbling
"Today, California's transportation system is in jeopardy," says a massive "needs assessment" issued by the California Transportation Commission. "Investments to preserve transportation systems simply have not kept pace with the demands on them, and this underfunding – decade after decade – has led to the decay of one of the state's great assets … "The future of the state's economy and our quality of life depend on a transportation system that is safe and reliable, and which moves people and goods effectively."
Associated Press: Emanuel picks 5 members for inaugural Chicago Infrastructure Trust board
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has picked five people to serve on the inaugural board of the Chicago Infrastructure Trust. The City Council approved formation of the trust in April. The program includes plans to replace crumbling commuter rail stations and century-old water pipes. The trust will start with $225 million in energy efficiency projects for government buildings. Emanuel on Monday announced his choices for the board, saying they were chosen for their finance and infrastructure experience and they'll operate under the "strictest fiduciary and ethical standards."
Las Vegas Review-Journal: LV-to-LA train extension in works
In an exchange of letters, DesertXpress and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority have pledged to work together to build same-train service between Las Vegas and downtown Los Angeles. The proposed DesertXpress line will run only from Las Vegas to Victorville, at a top speed of 150 miles per hour.
Seattle Times: Lance Dickie: Money spent on infrastructure creates jobs now, invests in the future
The federal government must spend more money to maintain, repair and build the roads, bridges, power grid and other infrastructure that support the economy. Yes, put it on the credit card. These are basic investments in the country's future and the working lives of generations that will put them to productive use. Prepare for better times ahead. Everyone is looking over their shoulder ducking debris from the explosion of the housing bubble, but grossly inflated inventories are diminishing.
Retrofitting public buildings to be greener would create as many as 800,000 jobs.